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Remarks by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui At Montreal En Lumière Opening Ceremony
2016/02/23

(Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, 18 February 2016)

His Worship Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal,

Ms. Wu Yihuan, Vice Mayor of Shenzhen Municipality,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Bonsoir. Good evening.

It is a pleasure to join you all at the 17th edition of the Montreal en Lumière festival.

Light represents justice, kindness, hope, brightness and future.

In a few days, on 22 February, Chinese will celebrate the Yuanxiao Festival, also known as the Lantern Festival.

In Christianity, light is an embodiment of warmth. Hindus celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights.

Humankind's worship and love of light are universal. All beautiful things have something to do with light.

The world-famous Montreal en Lumière festival inherits the glorious history of Montreal and heralds a bright future for this great city. Under the leadership of the Montreal government and His Worship MayorDenis Coderre, the city has made tremendous economic and social progress and is heading towards a better future.

Like Montreal, Shenzhen is also a city full of vigour and promise. More than 30 years ago, Shenzhen was only a small fishing village in Southern China's Guangdong Province. It is now an international metropolis with a population over 18 million. Shenzhen's spectacular development is an epitome of China's reform and opening-up. It is also a good example of how the 1.3 billion and more Chinese people are endeavouring to realise the Chinese dream of great national rejuvenation.

We appreciate it that Shenzhen is featured as the City of Honour at Montreal's festival of lights this year. I think the festival offers a significant platform for the two cities to strengthen friendship and identify more and new opportunities for cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A new start has been made since the new Canadian government took office. China-Canada relations are on a fast track of development. Three weeks ago, the Chinese Embassy and Global Affairs Canada jointly hosted a reception in Ottawa to mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended and addressed the event.

Forty-five years ago, there was no direct air link between our two countries. Now there are 132 direct flights every week between Chinese and Canadian cities.

Forty-five years ago, only 3,000 people travelled to and from China and Canada a year. Now the daily figure is over 3,000.

I would like to express our special thanks to Mayor Denis Coderre, who led a largest trade mission in Montreal's history to China a few months ago.

The launch of non-stop flights between Beijing and Montreal makes it more convenient for economic cooperation and for cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and Canada, particularly Montreal.

While the government efforts are important, the great achievements in our relations would not have been possible without the support and engagement of our two peoples. I am very optimistic about the future of relations between our two nations.

I am sure that if both sides work together, China-Canada relations will have a future as bright as the lights of the Montreal en Lumière festival

Thank you.

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